I would like to send a shout out to another wonderful read by the British author Sophie Kinsella, which is a pseudonym for Madeline Wickham. When I first read Confessions of a Shopaholic in an airport delayed I thought ‘here’s this silly story’ and then I found myself laughing once, and then again and again. Plus, I related to the way Rebecca shops and rationalizes her money away. It gave Rebecca a warmth and familiarity from the start because dealing with money, debt and the temptation of new things exists for all of us. There is also a slight message to the Shopaholic stories that things are just things and that it is the people who matter most. (the movie totally got the character of Rebecca wrong, mixed around the great story and set it in Manhattan instead of London. Big mistakes.)
Just as Rebecca deals with shopping the character in the Undomestic Goddess must confront the over-work in her life, or lack of life. She can’t have time to meet with her family for her birthday or learn how to use her vacuum and then crisis, the lawyer becomes a housekeeper in a grand house. She must learn to cook, clean, and live. Can a hard-edged city lawyer learn to appreciate the needs of a house? The story has lots of humor and romance. I love it!
In I’ve Got Your Number is her newest novel and it conquers smart phones. Through admittedly ridiculous turn of events a man and woman must share 1 phone (think the movie Pillow Talk in the modern era). They go back and forth exchanging each other’s emails and becoming more involved in their lives. Its a very good book and great romance. I laughed out loud a lot and her lead character Poppy felt like one of my best girlfriends. Kinsella also knows how to make a setting humorous and without being gaudy, slapsticky, or over-the-top.
Its easy to criticize the plots of Kinsella’s books. They are thin on plot but her characters and situations are spot on. Yes they are predictable and obvious but they are also funny, relatable and speak in an authentic way to real problems. Whether its conquering housework, shopping, or managing 2 phones, the characters feel funny and real as they go about the experiences of their novel.
Well, I’ve hid it for months because it seemed like ‘dumb chick lit’ writing but I’m coming out and saying it- I like Sophie Kinsella and think she is a good writer. She makes you laugh and question your own habits. It is great! It is easy to dismiss someone because of the genre they write in such as chick lit, but are there not always authors that succeed in a genre, or despite a genre?
I’m no longer going to be a closeted Sophie Kinsella fan. Silly, romantic, fluffy they may be but they make me laugh, pause to think and smile at the characters happy endings.
I hope that she continues to write more stand-alone novels because I’ve loved all of them that I’ve read- Undomestic Goddess, I’ve Got Your #, Remember Me etc. The shopholic books were great for the first 3 and then got a bit tired, as most series do.
Although being British there is a bit of language in her books particularly the F word so you’ve been warned.
What books do you like despite not normally loving the genre? Do you think genres stop you from reading certain books? Have you been surprised when you gave a new genre a shot?
The comments have been a bit dry lately. Make my day, make a comment!